According to Laurie J. Mullins, organizational behaviour is the study and understanding of individual and group behaviour and patterns of structure in order to help improve organizational performance and effectiveness. Organizational behaviour provide a set of tools that allow people to understand, analyze and describe behaviour in organization, also it allows managers to improve, enhance or change work behaviour so that individuals, groups and the whole organization can achieve their goals.
Through the use of the individual, group level and organization system level variables, including communication, perception, leadership, motivation, Organizational behaviour is a crucial factor within organizations, especially to practicing managers. Managers refer to individuals who achieve goals through other people (Robbins and Judge, 2011). It is their job to understand all of the components that are surrounded within the organization as well as make up the organization so as to understand, predict and influence organizational culture.
With gaining the knowledge, managers can better understand, predict and influence the dependent variables. Communication is the “activating force” behind organizational functions such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling (Gray et al, 1984). Communication is an important factor to practicing managers, where communication is necessary for plans, tasks and achievement of goals. Also, how clear roles and tasks are defined determines how effective and efficient the outcome is going to be.
Managers must use one organizational language so that all of the employees are unified and will be able to understand what needs to be done. Some organizations focus on a centralized form of communication, which is the downward communication by which managers assign goals, provide job instructions, inform employees of policies and procedures, point out problems that need attention and offer feedback about performance (Robbins et al, 2007). This communication is usually problematic when numerous levels exist as the message can be misinterpreted or distorted when it finally reaches its destination.
This type of communication leads to job dissatisfaction, deviant workplace behaviour, de-motivation, low productivity, absenteeism, job turnover, low levels of performance and low chances of organizational citizenship behaviour as the decision-making process is centralized, leaving out employees and making them feel less a part of the organization and incapable of making significant contributions. However, with decentralization, the flow of communication is both upward and downward, which allows employees to be more satisfied, more motivated more productive and even display organizational citizenship behaviour.
The upward communication flows to a higher level in the organization or group and is used to provide feedback, inform them of progress towards goals and relay current problems (Robbins et al, 2007). This overall will allow the organization to function well and the goals be completed in an effective and efficient manner. Some forms of decentralization would be meetings between staff and members, employee surveys and suggestion boxes in which the employees discuss their needs or what they feel that the organization can improve on, which in turn leads to a built trust, greater innovation and performance.
This trust results in affective commitment which is a feeling of solidarity with the organization (Mayer et al, 1997). Consequently, chances of absenteeism and turnover are low because of this emotional attachment to the organization. Managers must remember that an individual’s perception of a certain task or goal to be done might be different from another, and therefore, should do their best to ensure that the information is communicated in such a way that there are no misinterpretations.
On an individual level, perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment (Robbins and Judge, 2011). People’s behaviour is based on their perception of what reality is and therefore managers understand people’s expectations, can predict how they will perceive a situation, and can therefore better influence the dependent variables. The employee’s perception that a job is good or bad is an interpretation.
Managers must spend time understanding how each individual interprets reality and when there is a noticeable difference between what someone sees, and what exists, they must try to eliminate the distortions. If managers can better satisfy and motivate their workers, they are more aware of how they perceive rewards and other various methods of motivation (Combs and Snugg). If managers do not meet these expectations, employees can be greatly dissatisfied in the job and there would be increased absenteeism and turnover, and this is because absenteeism, turnover and job satisfaction are reactions to an individual’s perceptions.
Leadership is a process within groups in which one person, either by virtue of position or personality or both, obtains sufficient commitment of the other members to facilitate the achievement of group goals (Cole, 1995). It is a manager’s job to be a good leader to the organization and to assign good leaders to groups. Managers must understand the impacts of the way they lead on the various dependent variables because it essentially plays the biggest role.
Leadership in an organization is very importance as it motivates employees, creates confidence, builds morale, inspires employees, develops teamwork and secures cooperation (Ranganayakulu, 2005). Leadership allows the members of an organization or group to know who they have to respond to and who sets the tasks and goals. According to John Kotter “Leaders establish direction by developing a vision of the future; then they align people by communicating this vision and inspiring them to overcome hurdles”.
The way in which a manager leads determines the behaviour of the employees within the organization. If a manager leads poorly, or the members do not feel the leader is entitled that position, this can lead to job dissatisfaction, de-motivated employees, deviant workplace behaviour, absenteeism, and job turnover. With reference to the transformational theory, the transformational leaders foster creativity among subordinates by helping employees feel safe in trying out innovative approaches, without fear of punishment for failure (Jung, 2000).
Therefore, with their knowledge of their employees and what they require to be satisfied and productive, managers can decide how to lead. A mismatched leadership style or non-influential style can have significant impacts on behaviour. Motivation refers to the processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal (Robbins and Judge, 2011). Motivation is a very important factor in determining whether goals will be achieved effectively and efficiently.
This is so as all employees are not motivated by the same thing. Some members are motivated by money, others by reputation. It is the manager’s job to find out what each individual is motivated by, and use this knowledge to suit and keep them constantly motivated, whether it be implementing reward systems or by using methods such as job rotation and job enrichment. Managers must ensure that their employees are constantly motivated and doing their jobs in an effective and efficient manner to therefore lead the entire organization to a common goal.
The organization and all of its members must work as one to achieve this common goal, whether it be making a profit or gaining employee satisfaction. If one or more members are unmotivated to do their task, the task might come out as “sloppy” or ineffective, and therefore, the organization’s overall output will not be as satisfactory. Even if the work is what the employee enjoys, the task might be repetitive and therefore managers should implement job enlargement to diversify tasks and increase work productivity.
This can be seen in employees stamping papers, which in turn creates boredom, decreased productivity, absenteeism and job turnover. This might be detrimental to an organization as they might lose some of their most prestige employees, and the organization might suffer if there is no one in these positions or as qualified to fill them. Finally, if one of these prestige members decide to quit their job, this may affect other members in the organization as they may have looked up to them as a role model and therefore lose motivation, or even quit too.
Managers must understand that based on a person’s personality, they may only be motivated by money whereas someone else may need to be more intrinsically rewarded, such as employee recognition programs whereby they are recognized for their hard work. For example, based on the correct method of motivation matches the individual, it will increase satisfaction, productivity, perceived organizational support and organizational citizenship behaviour, and in turn, reduce chances of absenteeism and turnover (Osterloh and Frey).
In addition, rewards should be contingent on performance and managers must ensure that individuals believe the relationship is strong so they will be satisfied and hence productive. Finally, organisational culture is the pattern of shared basic assumptions that a group learned as it solved its problems of external adaption and internal integration that has worked well enough to become valid and therefore to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems (Schein, 1985).
When managers try to alter this behaviour, it is usually met with resistance to change. Therefore managers should look more to manage culture instead of trying to change it. There is a high chance that policies and supervision would be lapse and therefore persons would work according to their own schedule. Consequently, performance and productivity would diminish. Deviant workplace would exist because of the low supervision and the lapse policies would result in absenteeism and turnover.
Also organization citizenship behaviour would less likely to occur since employees would be more laid back and there would be impetus by managers to bring about this behaviour. This type of culture would be satisfying to persons who prefer little supervision and rules within the organization. Negative cultures usually exist when culture is not effectively managed. When a positive culture is existent, the level of rigidity in terms of procedures would be much stricter than what exists in a negative culture organization.
With this higher level of formality, performance and productivity would be very high. Managers would motivate their employees in order to increase the previously mentioned variables along job satisfaction. When employees are satisfied with their job, they would then be more likely to engage in organization citizenship behaviour and less likely to engage in deviant workplace behaviour and absent themselves or resign from the organization.
The culture of the organization would determine how rigid the structure of the organization is. In conclusion, organizational behaviour is crucial to practicing managers if they are to understand, predict and influence organizational events. They can be assisted by the understanding of independent and dependent variables on all levels, including communication, leadership, motivation, organizational culture and perception, to gain knowledge and therefore, direct the organization towards being efficient and effective in all manners.
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